Laboratory Safety Checklist



Department of Safety and Environmental Compliance


▼   Hazardous Substances

Chemical Storage:

  • Updated chemical inventory

  • Chemicals dated upon receipt and opening

  • Chemical containers labeled, capped and in good condition

  • No corrosive liquid stored above "eye level"

  • Chemicals segregated by hazard class (organics from oxidizers, flammables from acids)

Solvent Storage:

  • Excess solvent stored in solvent storage cabinets

  • Approved safety cans equipped with self-closing lids and flame arrestors intact

  • Safety can lids closed

  • Safety cans/wash bottles properly labeled

Infectious/Chemical Waste:

  • Waste containers labeled and chemical composition identified

  • Biohazard containers used properly where needed (i.e. autoclave bags, sharps containers)

▼   Laboratory Hoods Local Exhaust

Laboratory Hoods:

  • Exhaust hoods working, date of last inspection

  • Hood sashes open and close and glass intact

  • Hood free of excess chemical storage/equipment

  • Hood sashes down (panels closed) when not in use

▼   Emergency Equipment

Fire Extinguishers:

  • Extinguishers in designated location

  • Accessible and free from obstruction

  • Current year and date of last inspection indicated on tag

Safety Showers and Eye Washes:

  • Labeled, accessible and free from obstruction

  • Eye washes and drench hoses flushed weekly by department

  • Safety showers flushed annually by the maintenance department

First Aid:

  • Kits in designated areas

  • Inventory lists inside of First Aid kit

  • First aid kit properly and currently stocked

  • Emergency phone numbers posted

▼   Electric Powered Apparatus

Refrigerators and Freezers:

  • Only "explosion proof " or "explosion safe" refrigerators/freezers may be used in labs to store flammables

  • Refrigerators/freezers not "explosion proof" or "explosion safe" labeled "NO FLAMMABLES ALLOWED"

  • Refrigerators/freezers labeled for "CHEMICAL USE ONLY" or "FOOD USE ONLY" and used accordingly

  • Interior sound and free of chemical spills or contamination: containers stoppered or tightly closed

  • Refrigerators/freezers must be lockable


  • Electrical Apparatus equipped with ground plugs

  • Extension cords are prohibited

  • Two prong appliances not to be located within a 5 foot radius of flammables

  • Appliances properly grounded

▼   Protective Equipment


  • Safety glasses with side shields, chemical splash goggles where appropriate

  • Substantial shoes, no sandals, open toes

  • Protective clothing worn while working at bench

  • Gloves selected according to hazard


  • Aisles and exits free from obstruction

  • Benches and shelves not overloaded with unused equipment and/or chemicals and no combustibles stored within 18 inches of ceiling

  • No damaged glassware in use (broken, chipped)

  • Lab apparatus properly assembled and used appropriately

  • No bikes in labs

▼   Vacuum Equipment
  • Vacuum pump belt guard in place

  • Glass Dewars wrapped or shielded

  • Protective shatter proof shield in place when in use

  • Glass desiccators under vacuum stored in metal guards or shielded

▼   Training
  • Instruct lab personnel in potential work place hazards and good laboratory safe practices

  • Provide information on availability of "Right-to-Know" materials

  • Everyone that performs any type of work in a laboratory environment on campus (faculty and students) MUST take the online Combined Lab Safety & Chemical Waste Management course through CANVAS. You must also pass the quiz with a score of at least 80%, PRIOR to beginning any functions inside of the lab. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to make sure that this has been achieved. Therefore, the P.I. should be sure that each student’s name, J#, and USA email address is sent to Ms. Lisa Cobb in the Safety & Environmental Compliance department in order to get enrolled in the course. After being enrolled, each person should receive an email with an invitation to the course. Please allow up to 3 days to receive the course certificate following successful completion of the quiz. This certificate is good for 3 years.

▼   Compressed Gases
  • All cylinders properly secured in an upright position, with cylinder clamp/chain fastened to solid support

  • Stored cylinders tightly capped and surplus cylinders kept to a minimum

  • Flammable materials stored 20 feet from cylinders containing oxidizers

  • Regulators, proper connections and tubing in good condition

  • Flammable gas tubing secured and labeled

  • Flame arrestors on flammable gas supply

  • If toxic gases in use; proper leak sensors/alarms in place and alarms checked and calibrated on regular schedule

  • If toxic gases or gases with poor warning qualities used (i.e. odorless); redundant systems shutoffs in place in case of leaks/emergencies

▼   Signs
  • Special hazard signs in place (i.e. Laser, cryogenic liquids, biohazards)

  • Each laboratory should have a lab information sign posted outside the door of the lab. In order to receive the sign, the Principal Investigator has the responsibility of completely filling out the Laboratory Signage Information Sheet and sending it to Ms. Lisa Cobb. Once the sign is completed, it will be sent back to be checked for accuracy. If no changes need to be made, you may then post the sign outside of your lab using an acrylic sign holder that maintenance should be able to install for you. The department of Safety & Environmental has a supply of holders if requested. The Laboratory Signage Information Sheet may be found under the REPORTS & FORMS tab on the SEC main webpage.